Blue Springs wrestling coach Bobbe Lowe didn’t field what will eventually be his complete lineup in Tuesday’s season and home opener against Suburban Big Six foe Lee’s Summit West.
There are still some wrestlers who Lowe is anticipating will join the team later in the season. However, he was pleased with a couple of newcomers in a 42-27 loss to the Titans.
“I don’t think our lineup isn’t where it’s going to be at the end of the year,” Lowe said. “We have some guys who aren’t quite ready and we have some other guys who aren’t in the lineup. That’s a dual you’d like to have at the end of the season.
“We wrestled and fought pretty hard. It was the first time for these varsity guys to get a match in.”
Freshman 132-pounder Jaxon McIntyre had a strong showing against West senior Chase Hammonds when he earned an 18-3 technical fall victory. McIntyre showed off his quickness and easily worked single-leg and double-leg takedowns against Hammonds. He also had a couple of three-point near falls to earn the first victory of his high school career.
His performance wasn’t a surprise to Lowe, however. McIntyre has been wrestling since kindergarten and has about as much experience as one can have for a high school freshman.
“He’s been around wrestling for a while, so he knows how to wrestle,” Lowe said of McIntyre.
McIntyre said he knows it will be a challenge going against upperclassmen in his weight class.
“Since kindergarten, I’ve been working in the weight room getting my single and double legs down,” McIntyre said. “I’ve been in the gym ready for all these strong seniors.
“Being a freshman, I knew I would be lacking in strength. So I’ve been in the gym for a long time this summer. Today, I just tried to get my points in the beginning and keep my pace throughout the match. I know with my conditioning, I can last a while.”
Even while he’s new to high school wrestling, McIntyre has set high goals for himself.
“I want to make state and maybe get top six,” he said.
Junior Jastin Robertson (126) is a newcomer who also brings experience to Blue Springs. Last season, he was a state qualifier with Blue Springs South and showed why he could make a second trip to state Tuesday.
He earned a 17-5 major decision over Owen Smith, earning several takedowns and one near fall in the third period.
“He’s been great,” Lowe said of Robertson. “He’s got a great motor, but there’s a lot of technical things that he has to work on, but he’s got a lot of fire in him. That’s what we need. We need people who are going to push the pace and get people tired.”
Robertson said he’s relished the opportunity to wrestle for a storied program and under a head coach whose earned five state titles in the past.
“I like it. It’s a really fun environment,” Robertson said of wrestling for Blue Springs. “I just want to keep grinding like I did at South.
“I have to work on getting escapes from the bottom. I got rode out for two minutes and know coach didn’t like that.”
Other than the two newcomers, returning varsity letter-winners earned wins for the Wildcats. Senior Simeon Sullivan (285) took a 7-2 decision and Korbin Shepherd (120), who was a state runner-up at 106 pounds last season, got a second-round pin.
“He did good,” Lowe said Shepherd. “He did what we expected him to do. He went out and put points on the board.”
The sophomore said he’s enjoyed wrestling at 120 pounds so far.
“I get to continue eating and working out the same,” Shepherd said. “I don’t have to cut a whole lot of weight.”
Blue Springs sophomore Cayden Dotson (113) won the final match of the evening 3-2 and senior Lawson Lackey (182) won by forfeit.
Two forfeits and three pinfall victories helped the Titans earn the team victory.